Spoken word is artistic performance using only, as the name might imply, the spoken word. One of the most common sorts of spoken word performances is performance poetry, where a poet either reads previously-published poems, or reads poems specifically written to be performed aloud. Another kind that has gained popularity in recent years is political and social commentary, done in such a way that it is, while still prose, somewhat more artistic than a typical speech. Spoken word artists are often poets and musicians.
Artists known for spoken word performances and recorded spoken word releases include: